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Notícies :: indymedia : mitjans i manipulació : xarxa i llibertat
Indymedia seizures: a trawl for Genoa G8 trial cover-up?
14 oct 2004
Indymedia and other interested parties are to seek an injunction preventing the export of the contents of the servers that were seized last week. This content is thought to have included correspondence with lawyers involved in the case against Genoa police accused of grievous bodily harm, falsifying evidence, slander and abuse of police powers, during and subsequent to the 2001 G8 summit.

The servers housed data belonging to a number of Indymedia journalists, including Mark Covell, who was beaten close to death by Genoa police, and is now involved in actions against them. One demonstrator was shot dead by police. Covell told The Register that email to his lawyers in Italy is likely to have been on the servers, and that a number of separate challenges to the seizures were pending. The injunction is likely to be sought by human rights solicitor Gareth Pierce within the next 24 hours.

The seizures are understood to have been carried out on behalf of the Swiss and Italian governments, with some involvement on the part of the FBI. Swiss authorities have reportedly said the data could help its investigation of Indymedia's coverage of the 2003 G8 in Evian (which is of itself an interesting choice of investigation subject), but if the Italian connection is not Genoa G8, it is not clear what it could be. And the Italian government's most likely interest is not in pursuing G8 'information terrorists' (charges of this sort were thrown out some time ago), but in the defence of the Genoa police now in the dock.

The UK Home Office's approval and support was required for the raid, but these would have had to have been granted on the basis that it was a legitimate request for assistance in obtaining evidence, not a fishing expedition intended to provide support for a cover-up. If however the data is transferred to Italy it seems likely that the case against the Italian state over Genoa will have been seriously compromised.

Although it was at first thought that the seizures had been carried out under a US-UK Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), it now seems possible that the framework used was a European version to which the UK, Italy and Switzerland are signatories. The FBI's involvement therefore remains unclear, although it may have been approached initially because the hosting company, Rackspace, is US. MLATs, whose operation is cloaked by secrecy and gagging orders, are intended to provide a mechanism for signatories' security forces to obtain evidence and to make arrests internationally, and they are disturbingly dependent on the bona fides of the requesting party and the judgment of the requested one.

In this case, the latter is the Home Office, which is coming under pressure to explain itself. Richard Allan, Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield, Hallam, has tabled a written question for David Blunkett for answer tomorrow (Friday). ®

Mira també:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/10/14/indymedia_seizure_genoa_connection/
http://barcelona.indymedia.org/?category=indymedia

This work is in the public domain

Comentaris

Heavy hand of the law against independent media
14 oct 2004
Heavy hand of the law
Last week's seizure of material belonging to anti-globalisation websites could have serious consequences for citizen publishers. Bobbie Johnson reports

Bobbie Johnson
Thursday October 14, 2004
The Guardian

It is a story with components that would have most conspiracy theorists running for the nearest tinfoil hat shop: a radical media organisation, the FBI and an apparently anonymous foreign government.

Last week, Rackspace, a hosting company with headquarters in Texas, handed two of its London-based web servers to the FBI after a subpoena for their contents was issued by a US district court. The servers contained material belonging to the Independent Media Centre - better known as Indymedia - a conglomeration of global radical anti-globalisation sites produced by ordinary citizens. Indymedia claims it was not informed of the decision to seize its content, nor has it been told the reasons, despite the fact that 20 sites and more than 1m pieces of content were affected.

The FBI has said it was acting on behalf of a foreign government, though for the American subpoena to have power in the UK, it would need approval from either the British courts or the home secretary. Such agreements would usually be made over investigations into terrorism, though nobody involved has been able to confirm this.

Rackspace said it is complying with a court order "which establishes procedures for countries to assist each other in investigations such as international terrorism, kidnapping and money laundering". Clearly, such serious allegations against any media organisation - even one produced by amateurs - could be devastating.

"The site crashed last Thursday at 4pm," says one Indymedia UK volunteer who asked to remain anonymous. "Since then, the only official communication we've had was from Rackspace, but they would only say they couldn't tell us what was going on. No one at the FBI has talked to us about this, and we have not been told anything."

With the situation shrouded in a legal fog, the often-controversial grassroots news organisation has struggled to operate its sites across countries including the UK, France, Belgium, Serbia, Portugal, Italy and parts of South America.

"This seizure has grave implications for free speech and privacy," says Kurt Opsahl, staff attorney of Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights campaign group working with Indymedia to uncover the root of the FBI action.

It is not the first time Indymedia has come to blows with law enforcement. During the G8 summit in Genoa three years ago, buildings used by Indymedia journalists were among those raided by Italian police. Computers were destroyed and equipment seized in an action that international press watchdog Reporters Sans Frontieres described as unprecedented and incredibly violent.

Founded as an anti-globalisation news source covering the protests against the World Trade Organisation summit held in Seattle in 1999, Indymedia quickly turned into an international network of citizen journalists. It provides a voice of underground political opinion around the world, though its open door policy has seen the occasional publication of unsavoury and offensive content, including anti-semitism and incitement to violence - though representatives are quick to disown these.

The latest raid is more than just emblematic of the conflict between one radical anti-government organisation and the establishment. It highlights the potential for conflict between law enforcement agencies and citizen publishers and sends a warning to anyone involved in web publishing operations.

"Certainly on face value it looks like an attempt to gag an independent media organisation," says Barry Hugill, a spokesman for civil liberties organisation Liberty. "It is just possible that there is a legitimate reason for this action, but we certainly need more clarification."

At a time when mainstream media is being opened up to the masses, such crackdowns deal a blow to citizen journalism. Threats to the freedom of web publishers could damage the amateur investigators and webloggers who are the lifeblood of independent online journalism. The lack of information given about these seizures raises the potential threat that anyone could see their content removed without warning or explanation. It shows how fragile internet publishing can be - even in the hands of major media organisations.

"It is easy to go after the provider or the hosting company to close down a website," says Yaman Akdeniz, the director of Cyber Rights and Civil Liberties and a lecturer at the University of Leeds cyberlaw research unit. "Unfortunately, arbitrary censorship exists. There are less risky places to publish information and there are more risky places. I do not recommend anybody to rely on a hosting company in the UK, and certainly our cyber-rights.org servers are run outside the UK for a variety of reasons."

http://www.infoshop.org/inews/stories.php?story=04/10/14/5575869
Re: ultim comentari primer frase
14 oct 2004
mira aqui-
http://www.stopabductions.com/
(hay info como hacer un goro de proteción y protegir a usted y sus familiares de alieniiiiis . "the original tin foil hat")

There really is no such thing as an anonymous foreign government. We stopped that type of political development in the brief school of mystery novels which boasted writers as cool and modern in their day as Chesterton and Childers in the early XX century.
These days all the governments are listed, and have their own advertising budgets supporting national symbols, flags, armed guards, and even web sites.
"If it doesn't have website, it isn't a government."
Most really fashionable governments have their own security forces, who even though they may look like Agent Smith in that they wear "gafas de sol" and boast limited magical powers, they most certainly are not, and 99.9% of the time work for their own government. With the notable exception of the UK, all the other agents tend to get rightly pissed off, if Agent Smith goes and takes the not un-valuable indymedia network "offline" (a technical expression) to have a look at it and see how it works.
All the other Agents just read it, and wish they were editors and stuff, and after a little practise find careers on TV being clever or "intelligent" (another technical expression).
Whatever if one contemplates a Bach Cantata,
the so called "coffee cantata" for example and relax a little, you appreciate the good advice -

"shake it and see what sound it makes"

I think of it as the sound of people protecting their right to freedom of expression and their right to anonymously communicate their views to the media.

http://nodo50.org/x-files

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